‘A people at the peripheries’


Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in Monza Park for the people of the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy on Saturday during a pastoral visit, reflecting on the annunciation of Jesus as a message of joy at the peripheries of society. The Holy Father invited them to be joyful members of God’s people and to avoid “speculating” […]

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Letter #6a, 2017: Knights of Malta and Freemasonry, #3

January 31, 2017, on the Knights of Malta… I left off my last report, on the complicated and tumultuous story of the Knights of Malta (Letter #5 this year) with a “to be continued.” I would like to write more, but at this moment there is not much that can be said. We know this: […]

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Letter #2, 2017: Ten Found Safe


January 20, 2017, Friday — Ten Found Safe Some good news from central Italy. Ten survivors have now been dug out of tons of snow and are alive and well after an avalanche buried a mountain hotel at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. Rescuers are continuing to look for another 20 people who are […]

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Letter #1, 2017: Avalanche and Prayer

January 19, 2017, Thursday — Avalanche and Prayer Further heartbreaking news from central Italy. Yesterday morning four earthquakes hit central Italy. We could feel the tremors here in Rome, just slightly. At first it seemed that no one had been hurt. Then came the news that as many as 30 people had been buried in […]

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Letter #59, 2016: The Face of Christ and Unity


September 18, 2016, Sunday — The Face of Christ and Unity “Seeking the Face of Jesus must be the longing of all of us Christians… If we persevere in our quest for the Face of the Lord, at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, he, Jesus, will be our eternal joy, our reward and glory […]

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Moved by compassion and sorrow

-S.S. Francesco - Udienza Generale  24-08-2016

 - (Copyright L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO - Servizio Fotografico - photo@ossrom.va)

· The General Audience dedicated to prayer for the people struck by an earthquake that shook central Italy. · Within hours of an earthquake that devastated areas of central Italy early Wednesday morning, 24 August, Pope Francis expressed “heartfelt sorrow” and “closeness to all those present in the zones affected”, to “those who have lost […]

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The Stone Churches of Matera

MATERAcripta internogrotta

Matera is a small town in southern Italy famous for two things: its astonishing rock churches (named a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1993) and its poverty. There is hardly an electric light or a wire in sight. The panorama, the hollow cave-rooms gaping like empty eye sockets and shadowy rupestral churches still decorated with […]

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Food For Thought

antipasti 20

We all know that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Indeed, Rome is a layer-cake of history built on seven hills, and it is appropriately nicknamed “The Eternal City” because visitors can see monuments and art from almost every period of her c. 2,700-year history: Ancient Greek, Republican Rome, Imperial Rome, Medieval (if not so […]

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Italy’s Family Day Draws Huge Suppor­t — But Silence from the Vatican

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica is seen in the distance as people attend the Family Day rally at the Circus Maximus in Rome Jan. 30. The rally was held to oppose a bill in the Italian Senate that would allow civil unions for homosexual and heterosexual couples. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See story to come.

  In the last country in Europe not to legalize same-sex marriage, ordinary Italians are resisting pressure to recognize homosexual unions. But why the silence from the Vatican? More than a million people (1.5 million according to organizers) took part in a rally called Più Familia (More Family) that was organized by 450 associations to stress the […]

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Marcello Pera, on his friendship with Joseph Ratzinger

The Chancellor of Germany since 2005, Angela Merkel, and Italy’s new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Who is Marcello Pera? A seventy-one-year-old Italian philosopher and politician, known for his friendship with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, which began during Pera’s years as president of the Italian Senate (2001-2006). They continue to be good friends, and will in fact be meeting this month at the Mater Ecclesiae Mon­astery within the Vatican walls: theirs is […]

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Holy See honored at Turin book fair

The unusual Vatican Press book display centered on a "cupola of books" in the shape of Michelangelo's cupola above St. Peter's Basilica.

More than 1,000 different books spread out on tables in the shadow of a great dome constructed out of books in the shape of the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica. Such was the Holy See’s booth at the Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino (Turin International Book Fair) which this year made the Holy See […]

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Blessed Pope John Paul II Will Be Canonized

Msgr. Sławomir Oder, postulator of Blessed John Paul II’s canonization cause (Galazka photo)

“A miracle which will amaze the world!” In these few and mysterious words, the second miracle in Blessed John Paul II’s canonization process was being described earlier this year by people close to the cause. Then came rumors among Vatican correspondents that the chosen case involved a miracle in Costa Rica: a woman healed from severe […]

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Top Ten People of 2011: Archbishop Pietro Sambi


Pietro Sambi was a diplomat, a man of dialogue, a man of peace, and we would like to honor him among the “Top Ten” of 2011, and mourn his passing. He died on July 27 at the age of 73. All who knew him loved him. When the archbishop died in July, he left behind […]

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